1-4 #BackToWork : Teslapredicts that an economic crisis (or a financial crisis) will occur within a year in 2022; realme aims to be the 5G leader and democratizer in India; TSMC has decided to build a 100-hectare factory in the Zhongke Park in Taichung; etc.

According to DIGITIMES Research, global smartphone shipments in 2H21 did not see the annual growth momentum in 1H21. Instead, they decreased annually for the second consecutive quarter, totaling less than 700M units. The annual shipment was about 1.32B units, an annual increase of only 6.1 %. The top 6 brands of smartphone shipments in the 2H21 and throughout the year are Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo and Transsion. As far as the whole year of 2021 is concerned, the 4 domestic brands of Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo and Transsion all have double-digit annual growth rates in shipments. (Digitimes, CN Beta)

realme India CEO, Madhav Sheth has explained that the company aims to be the 5G leader and democratizer in India and will therefore equip all smartphones above INR15,000 (USD201) with 5G. He has further explained that the company is currently allocating 90% of realme R&D resources to develop 5G technology. (Gizmo China, BGR)

vivo Y21T debuts in Indonesia – 6.58” 1080×2408 FHD+ v-notch 90Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, rear tri 50MP-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 8MP, 6+128GB, Android 11.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 18W, IDR3.099M (USD218). (GSM Arena, Gizmo China)

Although Microsoft still has to launch Android 11 for Surface Duo 1 (Android 12 for Surface Duo 2), it is said that Microsoft is already developing Android 12L for these two phones. In fact, Microsoft does not intend to launch Android 12 for these two phones but will jump directly to Android 12L because it has a special design for large phones. (CN Beta, Windows Central, Realmi Central)

Loup Ventures partner and analyst Gene Munster outlined some of his predictions for 2022. One of them is that Apple and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) will duel in 2022, driven by the metaverse’s flight to quality. The metaverse is the idea of connecting within 3D or 2D virtual worlds. Among technology companies, Meta — true to its new name — is much more closely associated with the concept than Apple. However, Munster believes Apple is well-positioned to take advantage of the metaverse. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Loup Ventures)

Xiaomi Group partner and senior vice president Zhang Feng has disclosed that Xiaomi sold over 2M units of its air-conditioners during the period under review spanning 1 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2021. (Gizmo China, IT Home, My Drivers)

Samsung‘s 2022 lineup of Smart TVs will include the Samsung Gaming Hub, which combines cloud gaming services and physically connected consoles. The dedicated interface will initially launch with Google Stadia, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, and Utomik with the company saying “more to come”. The Samsung Gaming Hub will release for select 2022 models later in 2022. (Android Central, The Verge, Gizmodo)

Samsung says the latest Eco Remote can convert routers’ radio waves into energy to stay fully charged. Samsung has also added RF harvesting capabilities that let the remote preserve its charge by “collecting routers’ radio waves and converting them to energy.” (The Verge, Engadget, Gizmodo)

Kohler has announced PerfectFill which lets user fill up a bathtub with a simple voice command. The system consists of the PerfectFill drain kit and the PerfectFill overflow and digital valve / controller. Bath time can be controlled by the Kohler Konnect app, as well as via voice, and there is the option to program up to 10 different bath times, so everyone in the house can have it their way (even Fido). (CN Beta, The Verge, Mashable, CNET)

L’Oréal is showing off its first hair color device that can be used at home. The handheld Colorsonic can mix and apply product evenly. If it works as promised, Colorsonic should help users get consistent hair color results without having to go to the salon. The device works by dispensing the correct amount of hair color and then the bristles oscillate over 300 times a minute at a specific angle to evenly apply the color. (Gizmodo, Engadget, The Verge, CN Beta)

In 4Q21, Tesla achieved production of more than 305,000 vehicles and deliveries of over 308,000 vehicles. In 2021, Tesla delivered over 936,000 vehicles. The delivery numbers are significant given chip shortages that have plagued the automotive industry and even led Tesla to ship some cars without USB ports. (Engadget, Tesla)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts that an economic crisis (or a financial crisis) will occur within a year in 2022. According to Doug Ramsey, chief investment officer for Leuthold Group, has indicated that when the S&P 500 closed at a 52-week high in end Dec 2021, 334 companies trading on the New York Stock Exchange hit a 52-week low, more than double the amount that marked new one-year highs. That has happened only 3 other times in history — all of them in Dec 1999. (GizChina, Twitter, Bloomberg Quint)

Mercedes-Benz unveils sporty, ultra-long-range Vision EQXX electric concept car. The cell in the EQXX holds 100kWh of charge. It also has a super-low drag coefficient (0.17) given the aerodynamic form, a redesigned drivetrain, a software-driven approach to efficiency, and solar panels on the car’s roof to add supplementary energy. (Pocket-Lint, The Verge)

Electric vehicles accounted for nearly two-thirds of all new car sales in Norway in 2021, according to newly published data from the country’s Road Federation. In 2021, Norwegian dealerships sold 176,276 cars, 65% of which were EVs. That is an 11% point increase from the year prior when they accounted for 54% of all new car sales. (Engadget, OFV)

Canada’s Project Arrow is a new zero-emissions vehicle concept. The vehicle is the industry’s first all-Canadian concept vehicle. It is seen as an important component in Canada’s goal to achieve a zero-emissions future by 2050. The project’s goal is to create the first original and fully Canadian-built concept vehicle, and currently, more than 130 different companies are interested in participating. (CN Beta, Project Arrow, SlashGear, Auto Blog)

Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country, has suffered the worst floods since 2014. According to the latest Malaysian official statistics, the floods have caused 46 deaths, 5 missing, and more than 40,000 displaced. Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer BE Semiconductor and Japanese quartz crystal manufacturer Nihon Dempa Kogyo have both suspended their local production lines due to flooding. As an important part of the global semiconductor and even electronics industry, Southeast Asia’s packaging and testing production capacity accounts for 13% of the world’s total, and electronic components production capacity accounts for 20% of the world’s total. The top-10 semiconductor manufacturers such as Intel, Samsung Electronics, Micron, Broadcom, and Texas Instruments have local production lines in South East Asia. (CN Beta, IT Home, EET China)

TSMC has decided to build a 100-hectare factory in the Zhongke Park in Taichung, with a total investment of NTD800B-1T (about USD28.9B-36.1 B). The industry predicts that TSMC’s 2nm process will be trial-produced in 2024 and mass production in 2025, and the 1nm process will follow. In addition, after 1nm, TSMC will enter the new generation of Amm process (Amm is one-tenth of a nanometer). The Amm process intends to settle in Kaohsiung, but TSMC has yet to confirm. (CN Beta, CTEE, China Times, Realmi Central)

Visionox has revealed that the company is actively deploying in the direction of Micro LED technology. Its subsidiary Chengdu Chenxian Optoelectronics has built a Micro LED pilot line and achieved the first wearable sample and The TV uses splicing screen samples to light up. The subsidy owns about 700 patents related to Micro LED technologies. (Laoyaoba, East Money, Sohu, LED Inside)

Omdia has stated that due to unpredictable fluctuations in the TV panel supply chain, LCD TV panel prices may experience more significant and frequent fluctuations in 2022. LCD TV panel prices are continuing to fall, and will be from 1Q22 to the low point of the previous cycle. Omdia has said that during the global COVID-19 pandemic, IT panels are more popular in the market than TV panels. For example, global sales of notebook and tablet PC panels have increased from USD14.6B in 2019 to USD28B in 2021. (UDN, IT Home, Laoyaoba)

At least one of Apple’s iPhone 15 model launched in 2023 will feature a periscope camera system, allowing for increased optical zoom, according to Haitong Securities analyst Jeff Pu. With a periscope system, light entering the telephoto lens on the back of the iPhone would be reflected by an angled mirror towards the camera’s image sensor. The change in direction in which the light travels would allow for Apple to fit a longer telephoto setup inside the iPhone, enabling users to zoom in further without any blurriness. (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, Sina, My Drivers)

xMEMS Labs has introduced Montara Pro, the world’s first monolithic MEMS µspeaker with integrated DynamicVent enabling smart TWS earbuds and hearing aids that create best-of-both-worlds user experiences combining the benefits of closed-fit (occluded) and open-fit earbuds. (CN Beta, Business Wire, Yahoo)

Kohler has announced Power Reserve, which will have 3 different sizes of battery pack – 10 kWh, 15 kWh, and 20 kWh – which can be mixed and matched together. Kohler is positioning Power Reserve as the ideal accompaniment to a solar system. Excess power generated during the daytime can be banked and used at night, for example. It will work both with new and existing solar panel setups, and is designed to be platform-agnostic and work with just about any brand. (CN Beta, SlashGear)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has asked AT&T and Verizon Communications to delay the planned 5 Jan 2021 introduction of new 5G wireless service over aviation safety concerns. The aviation industry and FAA have raised concerns about potential interference of 5G with sensitive aircraft electronics like radio altimeters that could disrupt flights. (Engadget, Reuters)

According to Ericsson, the build-out of 5G networks is continuing to accelerate and, to date, there have been more than 180 commercial launches across the world. It is estimated that 5G networks will cover over 2B people at the end of 2021. By end of 2027, Ericsson estimates that 5G population coverage will have reached around 75%. The continuous global built-out of 4G and 5G networks, and the corresponding increase in capabilities, have become an enabler for “sunsetting” or shutting down legacy technologies – that is, 2G / 3G. (Ericsson, Ericsson report, CN Beta, My Drivers)

Stretch, a new robot from Boston Dynamics that can move heavy boxes where they need to go just as fast as an experienced warehouse worker. Stretch’s design is somewhat of a departure from the humanoid and quadrupedal robots that Boston Dynamics is best known for, such as Atlas and Spot. With its single massive arm, a gripper packed with sensors and an array of suction cups, and an omnidirectional mobile base, Stretch can transfer boxes that weigh as much as 50 pounds (23 kilograms) from the back of a truck to a conveyor belt at a rate of 800 boxes per hour. (CN Beta, Boston Dynamics, SlashDot, IEEE Spectrum)

Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda has indicated that decentralized games using technologies like blockchain will be a “major strategic theme” for the company from 2022 onward. He has hinted at how future releases would incorporate the distributed technology. (Engadget, Square-Enix, The Block Crypto)

Samsung has announced that its 2022 TV lineup will include built-in support for browsing, purchasing, and showing off non-fungible tokens (NFT) art. The “NFT Aggregation Platform”, which will be available on Samsung’s MicroLed, Neo QLED and The Frame models, allows users to browse and buy NFTs directly from their sets. The platform pulls in NFTs from several marketplaces, so users can preview the art and see other relevant details, like who created the work, as well as relevant blockchain metadata. (The Verge, Gizmodo, Engadget, Samsung)

German food delivery group Delivery Hero has signed an agreement to acquire about a 39.4% stake in Spanish delivery app Glovo. The company currently holds about 43.8% in Glovo shares on a non-diluted basis. (CN Beta, Reuters, Delivery Hero)

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